Mice are nearsighted and timid, but once your mouse gets to know you, it may crawl up your arm and fall asleep in the nape of your neck. Spotted, black, brown, or white, these nocturnal creatures delight in exploration; they love to jump and run and climb most of the night.
A cage-either an aquarium with a secure hardware-cloth cover or a rodent cage from a pet store -should be at least 8 x 10 x 6 inches. A larger cage is even better, providing space for romping and special areas for feeding, eliminating, sleeping, and watering.
Mice live about 3 years. A buck (male) and a doe (female) can produce up to 17 litters a year, with from 6 to 12 young in each litter. Blind and naked at birth, the young are weaned at 3 weeks of age and are themselves ready to breed at 3 months. If you don’t want a proliferation of mice, buy a pair of females; two males will fight.
The pet-store owner can identify the sex for you.
A mouse eats a teaspoonful of food each day; seeds, bird grain, nuts, dry dog food, bits of brown bread, green vegetables, and fresh fruit are all good. Commercial pellets are also available. Change the water in the water bottle weekly.
A mouse usually urinates and defecates in the same spot; place a disposable aluminum pie plate filled with sand or kitty litter at that spot. To avoid a “mousy” odor, clean the plate every 2 days.